Scientists have discovered a new virus that is completely unknown to man. Scientists have named this virus as Yara virus, which is named after Yara, a water queen in Brazilian mythology. Yara virus was found in an artificial lake called Lake Pampulha in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
Yara virus genes have never been recorded in any of the viral research so far. They have no clue of how and for how long it is existing in the nature. This new virus seems to be very mysterious because of the existence of new lineage of amoebal virus without any known origin and phylogeny as mentioned in the research paper about its discovery.
Team handled by senior virologists Bernard La Scola from Aix-Marsielle University in France and Jonatas S Abrahao from Federal University in Brazil mentioned that this yara virus is one of a kind and does not relate closely to any of the viruses documented in public scientific records. Even after using the current metagenomic protocols that is used to identify different viruses, Yara virus remained unrecognisable.
Yara virus is of 80 nm in size. Only six genes found in Yara virus is similar to its older counterparts. Almost 90 per cent of other genomes are unrecognised. Scientists believe that almost all the identified amoeba viruses will be similar but Yara is a very unique and smaller, evolved form of giant viruses which were identified in this century. Contrary to what Yara virus consists of, Scientists believe that they can either be evolved forms of giant viruses or copies of amoeba viruses that were never found.
Jonatas and Bernard had previously discovered giant viruses called Tupan virus which is also a water dwelling and found in extreme aquatic habitats. These viruses have huge capsids and they also consists of more complex genomes which gives them the ability to synthesise proteins. This makes them capable of performing DNA replication, transcription and translation. These kinds of viruses are the first one in which complex genomes were found.
This discovery could lead to identification of many more viruses similar to Yara virus and other different evolved forms.